CARE Coalition


Department Head

Ananda Lennox

Coalition Coordinator

Did you miss our webinar with Harvard Medical School's Dr. Bertha Madras, Professor of Psychobiology? No worries, we have the recording. The Q&A is included during the last 30 minutes. Click HERE.

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COVID-19 Updates and Resources Can Be Found HERE

"Dr. Joshua Gordon, Director of the National Institute of Mental Health, offers five steps you can follow to maintain your mental health and well-being during the novel coronavirus outbreak."

Find more mental health information at, and find the latest on COVID-19 at

"Over 20 million people suffer from addiction in the United States – that’s one in seven people, according to the Addiction Policy Forum. CADCA and Addiction Policy Forum have partnered together to create “What is Addiction?” a video highlighting the nature of addiction and its effects on the human body, brain and development."

Quit Vaping Resource

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Take the first step toward a nicotine-free life

Join the CARE Coalition!

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The following resources including Hotline & Helplines, Self-Care Information, and Online Support Groups and Recovery Meetings, were recently published by the MA Trial Court:

Online Support Groups and Recovery Meetings

  • Alcoholics Anonymous Online Intergroup Directory of online audio/video meetings 7 days per week.
  • SMART Recovery Online community where participants help one another recover from addictive behaviors.
  • WEconnect and Unity Recovery Free online daily all recovery meetings.
  • Narcotics Anonymous Online Meetings in various time zones using multiple platforms.
  • Herren Project Live online support groups and recovery meetings, moderated by trained clinicians.
  • In The Rooms Free weekly online meetings for those recovering from addiction and related issues.
  • Learn to Cope Online support forum open to families, friend and loved ones who have someone in their lives who is struggling with addiction.
  • Al-Anon Family Groups Electronic meetings for anyone affected by alcoholism in a family member or friend.
  • Allies in Recovery Online support for families dealing with a loved one's addiction, using the evidence-based CRAFT method (Community Reinforcement and Family Training); free for Massachusetts residents.


  • CDC: Mental Health and Coping During COVID-19
  • Hazelden Betty Ford: Tips for Staying Connected and Safeguarding Your Addiction Recovery
  • SAMHSA: Taking Care of Your Behavioral Health During and Infectious Disease Outbreak
  • Shatterproof: How I'm Coping with COVID-19 and Social Isolation as a Person in Long-Term Recovery
  • WHO : Mental Health and Psychosocial Considerations During COVID-19 Outbreak

Hotlines and Helplines

  • 211 24/7 Massachusetts hotline with real-time COVID-19 information, resources, and referrals in multiple languages. Dial 2-1-1 from any landline or cellphone.
  • Massachusetts Behavioral Health Access Locate openings in mental health and substance use disorder services.
  • Network of Care Massachusetts New statewide comprehensive and searchable directory with information about more than 5,000 mental health, substance use and social service resources including program description, contact information, populations served, eligibility and fee information.
  • Massachusetts Substance Use Helpline Statewide, public resource for finding licensed and approved substance use treatment and recovery services. Call 800-327-5050 to get help, 8am-10pm Mon-Fri and 8am-6pm weekends.
  • Veterans Crisis Line Free, confidential resource for Veterans in crisis and their families and friends, including Veterans not registered with the VA. Dial 800-273-8255 and Pres 1 to talk to someone, or text 838255 to connect with a qualified VA responder.

Reduce Your Risk

  1. Clean your hands often
  2. Cough or sneeze into your bent elbow - not your hands!
  3. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  4. Avoid close contact with someone who is sick
  5. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces

Smoking, Vaping and COVID-19: About the Connection and How to Quit

Smoking, Vaping and COVID-19 from Attorney General Maura Healey

Smoking, Vaping and COVID-19: the Connection and How to Quit from MassGeneral Hospital

Smoking and E-cigarette Use Put Individuals at Increased Risk of Coronavirus (COVID-19) from Westwood-Mansfield Pediatrics

General Information: Information on the Outbreak of COVID-19

CDC: COVID-19: What You Need to Know

DOJ: COVID-19 Information Page

WHO: COVID-19 advice for the public

APA: Pandemics: General Resources March 15 2020 Telehealth Order

NETRC: Northeast Telehealth Resource Center

MA Health Connector: MassHealth Enrollment Overdose Prevention and Naloxone Access

Source:COVID-19_Mental_Health_and_Substance_Use_Disorder_Resources_for_all_Ages(PDF, 319KB)


The Power of Parents

Parents can play a powerful role in preventing their teen from abusing drugs & alcohol. The free materials and resources below are a great place to start.


Tips for Talking to Your Kids

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For more information on how to start the conversation, as well as examples of scenarios and how to respond, view the Parent Talk Kit, created by the Partnership for Drug Free Kids and the Medicine Abuse Project.

The Physiology of Addiction

Dr. Ruth Potee is a board certified Family Physician and Addiction Medicine physician at Valley Medical Group in Greenfield, MA. Dr. Potee engages communities in discussions surrounding substance abuse through her wide ranging series of talks, which can be found on her website, speaking specifically here about the physiology of addiction.

Internet Safety

The internet puts more resources at our fingertips than ever before. Due to the wealth of information accessible online, both good and bad, it’s important to understand different ways we can make the internet safer. One website that provides a variety of internet safety resources for parents is Common Sense Media. For example, they have produced, A Parents Ultimate Guide to YouTubeA Parent’s Ultimate Guide to YouTube Kids, and YouTube Alternatives. These resources contain steps to add content filters and parental controls, to reduce the chance of exposure to inappropriate content. For more information on safety tips, as well as discussion starters click here!

Teen Stress, Depression, & Suicide

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Get Help

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.

Call 1-800-273-8255

More information regarding signs, symptoms, & resources can be found below:

Parent's Guide to Teen Depression

Suicide Prevention


Is Vaping Safe?

"Vapor" sounds completely safe, but vaping doesn't use water vapor: It uses vape juice, also called e-juice or e-liquid, which is a mixture of chemicals suspended in vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol. One of those chemicals is usually nicotine, the same stuff that makes cigarettes addictive. Vape juice will vary in the concentration of nicotine it contains, and these solutions also include other chemicals that users inhale into their lungs.

  • Chemicals found in e-juice include acrolein, acrylamide, acrylonitrile, benzene, and ethylene oxide.
  • Toxic metals found in e-juice include chromium, lead, manganese, nickel, and zinc.
  • Flavoring agents used in vape juice can cause lung and DNA damage.

Specific Dangers for Young People

Some sources estimate that as many as five percent of middle-school students and up to 16 percent of high-school students have used electronic cigarettes recently, and those numbers keep growing. However, vaping isn't without its risks, particularly for young people whose bodies are still developing.

  • Nicotine has been found to be harmful for the adolescent brain, causing learning and behavioral problems.
  • Kids who use e-cigarettes have a higher rate of chronic bronchitis and asthma.
  • E-liquids can poison children and adults if they are swallowed or touch the skin.

Recommendations for Users

Anyone who has been using electronic cigarettes may struggle with an addiction to nicotine. If this has already happened to you, you may need to get help from a medical professional or a treatment center that specializes in nicotine addiction. If you accidentally swallow e-liquid, call your local poison control center for help (800-222-1222).

  • Stay away from electronic cigarettes if you've never used them before.
  • If you vape and want to stop but can't, talk to your doctor about ways to break your addiction.

This complete guide and more information can be found at:

Parent and Guardian Resource Guide:

Vaping: What You Need to Know And How to Talk With Your Kids

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West Springfield Tobacco Community Fact Sheet(PDF, 177KB)

This community fact she was published by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Program. It provides specific information on tobacco usage in our community, local tobacco regulations, health effects, and our community partnership contact.

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In July 2018, The Massachusetts Department of Public Health launched its first statewide public information campaign to educate parents of middle and high school-aged children about the dangers of vape pens and e-cigarettes. The campaign, The New Look of Nicotine Addiction, seeks to spread the word that these high-tech products are harmful, that they contain nicotine which can damage a teenager’s developing brain and lead to addiction.

In addition to the following informational publications, more information can be found on!


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For more information on how to address vaping with your child, click here!